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Summary: Follow along with the book and CD as the Bandimals sing about friendship, making the right choices, and (of course) staying in school. This is a storybook set to music.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 5 to 9
Age of Child: Started reading with child 3½ years old.
Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler (who LOVES every type of music) walked away after the second song. Repeated efforts to play the music yielded the same results.
Adult Reader Reaction: Including the definitions of bigger words, re-arranged spelling and the actual music was great! The tunes are nice, but the falsetto is grating. The instrumental piece at the end was terrific. Although the book is for older kids, we anticipated music enjoyable by all.
Pros: The book can be used as a songbook, as a poetry book or as a follow-along while the CD plays. The songs have a positive message.
Cons: The helium-filled voices detract from the pleasantness of the music. Older kids may read/re-read the book, but they'll leave the CD in its envelope.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The text, with its repetition, is great for new readers. You (and your kids) might like the music…and if you play an instrument, you can make the music yourself!
Educational Themes: The songs/poems let kids explore their potential and use their imagination. There is plenty of material for opening discussions about the value of education, particularly for self-esteem, social skills, and lessons for future success.
Notes: Comes with CD
Literary Categories: Fiction - music, school, picture book, life lessons